My Eye’s Pupil Is Your Nest retraces the remnants of mental rivers (or collective aquatic memory). It follows the lost springs and water architecture of Prizren by meandering throughout the city from above via an imaginary water line. Quoted from an Arabic inscription beneath a fresco at the Church of Our Lady of Ljeviš in Prizren (known in the fifteenth century as Cuma Camii), “My eye’s pupil is your nest” is a verse that addresses not only the act of engraving the imprint of an almost-disappearing image onto one’s memory, but also the act of seeing beyond the invisible. Taking the river, an essential element that marks land, the piece uses the act of drawing to remap an imaginary water path. It follows the unseen flow of early waters inspired by the river branches of Kasem Beg, Kukli Beg, Suzi Beg, Begzade, and the river architecture—linear channels passing through one home to the other, mostly buried or disappeared due to historical and political ruptures and urban transformation—in particular after the city’s flooding in 1957. Büyüktaşciyan’s work is a plain, loaded, and beautiful gesture of redrawing a blue construction net connects roofs, passing through a neighborhood in a linear thread—a virtual water line that visually anchors one to another. The seen and the unseen coexist through the archaeology of remembrance and forgetting like the nature of water that both reveals and hides as it flows.
Hera Büyüktaşciyan (1984) was born in Istanbul and lives in Istanbul.